North Carolina solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
in North Carolina
5.13 hours of peak sunlight
North Carolina offers a good amount of sunlight – enough to substantially reduce your utility bills
You can send the excess electricity your system generates back to the grid, and the utility will pay for it
2 years payback period
A solar power system in North Carolina pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Property tax exemption
Solar panels will increase the price of your home. Pay zero taxes on this added value
North Carolina #19 in the US
- $56 613/year Average savings from going solar in North Carolina
- 12 948 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 559 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in North Carolina
- 11 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in North Carolina
- 23 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.56/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in North Carolina you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
Solar laws in North Carolina oblige electric utilities to offer Net Metering. It allows residential solar owners to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries. When you sell your solar power to the grid, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. Their value is determined according to avoided cost rates set forth by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Once a year all unused credits expire.
Save additional $300 to $1,000 a year trading RECs
Renewable Energy Credits are certificates granted to any person or entity upon generation of each MWh of clean electricity. Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. There is one platform in North Carolina that allows you to store and sell them: NC-RETS. The value of RECs is always changing, which makes them similar to stock market assets. Based on the available data, selling PECs could mean anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually for a 10 kW solar system. To participate, follow this detailed instruction. Keep in mind that the utilities will own your RECs unless you use a time-of-use demand (TOUD) tariff.
Freeze your property tax with Renewable Energy Source Exemption
A solar PV system installed in a home increases its value by about 4%, says a 2019 Zillow report. You could end up paying higher property taxes in other states, but not in North Carolina. According to the state laws, 100% of the value added as a result of a solar PV system installation should be exempt from property tax as non-business personal property.
Install your solar panels in North Carolina with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in North Carolina. The state makes unlawful any prohibitions of this kind, including those implemented by homeowners associations (HOAs). However, some restrictions are allowed by the legislation. These include size or aesthetic requirements, but only if they do not prevent homeowners from effectively using a PV system. Prohibiting solar arrays visible from the ground is also possible in North Carolina.
Solar panels help North Carolina survive hurricanes
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina is one of the five states where hurricanes hit most often. Overpowering winds damage the infrastructure and wreak havoc, living people without electricity for days and even weeks. PV modules have the strength to withstand most hurricanes, and they will be of great value in case of a blackout. In 2020, hurricane Zeta caused almost half a million blackouts across North Carolina. This is a big number, considering that Zeta is far from being one of the worst disasters in the state’s history. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, extreme weather events will hit more and more often and gain in intensity. This is a good reason to consider going solar.